Sued over Stonewood


Queenstown’s mayor will remain in the top job as he faces legal action over the collapse of Stonewood Homes.

Mayor Jim Boult and Stonewood founder Brent Mettrick are embroiled in a legal battle following the filing of a statement of claim in the High Court in Christchurch.

Details about the claim are scarce, but the High Court only hears civil claims that are complex or for over $350,000.

The plaintiffs are liquidators Rhys Cain and Rees Logan.

Boult says he’ll “vigorously defend” any suggestions he did not fulfil his duties as a director.

He’ll also remain in the mayor’s chair during the legal fight, council chief executive Mike Theelen confirms.

Theelen says it “isn’t a council-related matter and does not affect Jim in his capacity as mayor”.

“Therefore he won’t be standing down and council won’t be making any further comment at this time.”

He did not respond to a question about when Boult told the council about the statement of claim, which was filed on July 31.

Christchurch-based company Stonewood Homes went into receivership on February 22, 2016, owing unsecured creditors $15 million.

It was later placed into liquidation. About 110 home buyers were affected by the collapse.

Boult joined the Stonewood board in August 2014.

He stepped down from the company on February 1, 2016, telling media he had done so because he had been part of an attempt to buy Stonewood before receivers were called in and he considered he had a conflict of interest.

Cain confirmed legal proceedings had been lodged in respect to the Stonewood Homes liquidations. He declined to comment further.

Boult said he rejected the claim made by the liquidators.

“I have provided in-depth information to the liquidator that clearly demonstrates I fulfilled my obligations and duties as a director.

“I am confident any investigation will support this.”

A court spokesman said there was no date set for the case to be called.

Mettrick, who declined to comment, founded the Stonewood Homes franchise in 1987, with 21 franchise locations across the country.

All branches were independently owned, but Stonewood Homes New Zealand was the master franchisor.